Five Keys to a Meaningful Life
Throughout her life, Amma has offered words to live by. You can dive deep into these teachings through her books, speeches, videos, and more. You may also find it helpful to use these five keys as a set of reminders from Amma to contemplate on daily. Taken together, these five keys can serve as a guidepost, leading us to a deeply meaningful and fulfilling life.
Never squander an opportunity to help others.
“Every day we should make a resolve to do something compassionate: ‘Let anything happen, but today I should do or say something nice. I should do something good. I should not just take. I should do something to help others.’ Each time we act with compassion, our heart expands and the ego in us melts a little. From this, we change. In this manner, eventually our heart becomes completely filled with compassion and the ego dissolves completely. Let us not live just to take. Let us also live to give. It is the moments we spend selflessly serving others that bring real value to our life.” —Amma
Avoid using harsh words. If you cannot speak with love and respect, wait until you can.
“At present, our thoughts immediately manifest as words. This is because we are unable to create a gap between our thoughts and words, or between our thoughts and actions. If we could establish such a gap, the light of awareness would shine therein. In that light, we can see ourselves and exercise self-control. Words spoken in anger can never really be taken back. A few careless words can cause wounds that can never be fully healed and even destroy precious relationships. Let us make a resolve to never harm anyone in thought, word or deed. If we do lose our temper and speak with cruelty, let us sincerely apologize.” —Amma
Make protecting nature a part of your daily routine.
“In the old days, there was no specific need for environmental preservation because protecting Nature was part of worshiping God and life itself. More than remembering ‘God,’ people used to love and serve Nature and society. They saw the Creator through the creation. They loved, worshiped and protected Nature as the visible form of God. We should try to reawaken this attitude. Making resolutions to recycle, carpool, plant trees, participate in cleanliness drives, and so on…There are many such small contributions we can make, and they definitely have their impact.” —Amma
Maintain a regular spiritual practice, even to a small extent.
“If we want to make progress in spiritual life we need to maintain regular spiritual practices. It can be chanting your mantra a certain number of times, reciting prayers, spending time in meditation… Whatever it is, do it sincerely every day without fail. If we are truly interested in spiritual progress, we will make our spiritual practices a priority and always find time to do them without fail.” —Amma
Every day, strive to spend a little time discussing or reflecting on spiritual topics.
“When we listen to spiritual talks, study the scriptures or words of enlightened masters, we develop detachment. From detachment comes freedom from delusion. From freedom from delusion comes steadfastness of mind, from steadfastness of mind comes liberation. Every day we should spend at least a little time dwelling in the eternal spiritual truths. If the two wings of a bird are love for God and spiritual practices, its tail is spiritual wisdom. Only with the help of all three can the bird soar into the heights.” —Amma